Can I Reuse My Child Car Seat Or Booster Seat After An Auto Accident?
If you have child car seats or booster seats, you might wonder if you should replace them after a California car accident.
Although the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) now generally advises you are not required to replace these seats after a “minor” crash, you may need to ask your lawyer what is best in your particular situation.
A good lawyer will fight for you, and argue that your child car seats or booster seats should be replaced, and the insurance company should foot the bill. I am attorney Renée Yvonne Gardner and I fight for my clients.
Even if your child car seat or booster seat looks like it's still in good condition after the crash, and the insurance company does not make you turn it in to them, you should recycle the seat. You may even want to donate it to a local charity, but it's still potentially unsafe for any child to use because it was involved in a crash.
In the case of a moderate to severe car crash, the NHTSA recommends always replacing these seats.
What Defines A Minor Auto Accident When It Comes to Child Car Seats Or Booster Seats?
When it comes to child car seats and booster seats, the NTSA says that for an auto accident to be a "minor" crash instead of a "moderate to severe crash", ALL of the following must apply:
- The vehicle was able to be driven away from the crash site.
- The vehicle door nearest the car seat was not damaged.
- None of the passengers in the vehicle sustained any injuries in the crash.
- If the vehicle has air bags, the air bags did not deploy during the crash; and
- There is no visible damage to the car seat.
Besides the above five factors, another two things to consider are:
- Did any of your car doors get hit in the crash?
- Did your car get towed?
If you said yes to any of these two questions, you should replace that child car seat or booster seat.
And, be sure to check your manufacturer's car seat manual. Many manufacturers recommend getting a new seat after any crash, even if it's a minor one.
If you got hurt in an auto accident and had child car seats or booster seats in your auto, contact me, Renée Yvonne Gardner, at (408) 214-5555.
I will fight for the insurance to pay for a replacement child car seat or booster seat - - and demand they pay for all your damages.
Source of child seat photo: rawpixel.com